Education Ministry’s website revamped – without Arabic

The Ministry of Education has promised to add Arabic to its new website ‘within days’ for over a month. 

Since the Israeli school year began on September 1, the Education Ministry’s official website, which was recently revamped, has failed to provide its new look in Arabic – which is (still) an official language in Israel.

Or Kashti, Haaretz’s reporter on education, inquired with the ministry when he first noticed the issue after the site’s relaunch on August 20th. He also contacted them about the fact that nearly all the photos on the site were of light-skinned blonde children (His report in Haaretz Hebrew). He found out they were taken from a database abroad (presumably Scandinavia) and only one photo — of soldiers at a Memorial Day service – were of actual Israelis. After more and more people noticed and lodged complaints, the ministry acted fairly quickly, issuing an apology and changing the photos within a few days.

But the issue of the lack of Arabic has yet to be addressed even though officials in the ministry told him the issue would be resolved as well “within a matter of days.” Over a month later – still nothing. He told +972 that he has checked in with them twice since, the last time  a week ago. He updates his Facebook page about once a week to remind his readers on the issue.

He explained to +972 that there are some pages in Arabic from the old site that still exist on the new site. But they were buried deeply then and are buried even further on the new site. When I visited I tried to find them, but to no avail. “When relaunching a website, you cannot disregard the Arab population. Even the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Welfare and Social Services have understood that,” he said.